OK. So. Look.
This is one of those books that I should, according to all my usual thyme and reason, enjoy. It possesses just enough magical realism to meet my needs (because I read primarily for escapism), engaging character voices, and initially presents itself as if I'm going to need to pick out the meaning and undercurrents and themes -- the whats, whys, and wherefores of what's going on -- as if it's *meaty*. I enjoy disjointed story lines (because jigsaw puzzles are my friends) and unreliable narrators and weirdness.
What I *require* is very simple--I can't stand to be preached at. Yamashita? She kinda preaches. She is as subtle as a tommy gun. Arcangel, one of the characters narrating his part of the story, spells it out in blunt poetry that I don't even have to try to tease apart. That's boring.
I adore some of the imagery, I'm confused by some of the minor plot lines (baby parts? what? so?), and the ending doesn't quite deliver the punch that I think she means for it to. Which is kind of a shame.
But the whole apocalyptic overtones meant I spent some time brushing up on apocalypses in general, and that's never a bad thing.
We're all gonna die!
Subversive, magical, painful, lyrical, beautiful, violent, sweet, and above all very very funny look into the intertwined lives of multiple characters set in a magical-realistic version of Los Angeles.